So, it’s no secret that I loved the fitness plan I just completed.
A few months ago, I got an email from Carrie asking me I’d be interested in completing her program. I had just finished Livefit and was searching for something new, so her timing was absolutely perfect. I hadn’t put on the muscle I was hoping to with Livefit, so I wanted to try a different approach.
When I saw her program, I was a little hesitant. By the end of Livefit, I was working out 6 days a week for an hour to an hour and a half a session. Carrie’s program is 4 days a week, with workouts taking (on average) 45 minutes to an hour. Some days I was done in less than 30 minutes.
You know what?
Her approach worked better for me than any other program I’ve tried.
Carrie’s program is 12 weeks long; broken up into three phases of four weeks each. Workouts were completed Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The focus was on lifting, with 20-25 minute interval cardio and plyo circuit workouts thrown in.
My overall goal with the program was muscle and strength gain. I measured my results in two ways.
I took measurements after each phase of the workout. In the end, I didn’t lose much body fat – less than half a percent. I’m fine with that – that wasn’t my focus at all. If it was, I would have focused more on the nutrition aspect (with the program, you get a sheet with nutrition guidelines).
But – I gained 3 pounds. Considering that my body fat didn’t really change, that means I gained MUSCLE. Exactly what I wanted to do! I also gained half an inch in each bicep – definitely nothing to sneeze at.
2. The Chin-up Test
I have never in my life been able to do a chin-up. While I gain muscle in my lower body easily, upper body has always been a challenge. Therefore, my goal for the last few months has been to do a chin-up.
Yesterday at the gym, I decided to test it out.
I grabbed the bar, and hoisted myself up and over. I let myself down, stunned. I had just done it!
I was surprised at how easy it was – I decided to try again. Chin over the bar once. Chin over the bar twice. A huge smile broke across my face – TWO unbroken chin-ups.
I didn’t think I’d be able to do two…so I had to try for three.
I rested for a minute, than climbed back up. One…two…I felt myself struggling a lot, but…three!
I could barely do pushups a year ago, and now, I can do three unbroken unassisted chin-ups. I’m glad the gym was empty, because I was actually doing a bit of a victory dance afterwards. Although, that felt like a high five moment, so maybe it would have been better if someone had been there!
So was Carrie’s program effective? ABSOLUTELY. The way it was set up allowed for my muscles to rest, which is what they need to grow. I think that element was missing on Livefit – so although the programs were the same length, I didn’t see the same results. If you’re looking for a good, effective workout program that’s doable (without spending every moment in the gym) I 100% recommend This Fit Chick. She puts together one hell of a program!
So this week, I’ve been hitting up the gym per my usual timeslots and doing upper body workouts (the knee is feeling better, but I’m trying to keep it rested). Starting next week, I’ll be taking 2 weeks off of heavy workouts to rest up a bit.
Fortunately for me, Carrie has agreed to put together a ‘continuation’ of her Slim and Sculpt program for those that have gone through it. You’d better believe I’m going to be purchasing that!
She’s also offering a nutrition program, which I’m seriously considering buying. I think it’s obvious that when it comes to strength/muscle gain, what you eat is just as important as your workouts. I loved seeing what I managed to accomplish on my own accord, so I want to see what can happen when I’m eating for proper muscle growth.
Of course, I’m a tad hesitant about this (considering the ED history). But I have been emailing with Carrie, and she’s assured me that 1. I won’t know my calorie intake (she takes care of that) 2. It’s not calorie-restrictive 3. She won’t tell me I’ll never be able to have chocolate again (clearly vital to my happiness) and 4. It’s not overly specific (not super strict, exact meals laid out. As in, it will tell me to have x ounces of lean protein as opposed to ounces of chicken breast). She knows my past struggles with food, which she will take into consideration.
I haven’t decided for sure yet if I’m going to go for it, but the more I think about it, the more I want to do it. I loved that feeling of accomplishment I got doing those chinups, so I want to feel that time and time again. I know that learning more about eating to gain muscle with help me with that.
*disclaimer: although I received the program for free, I was not compensated for my posts. All opinions are my own, and I will be paying for the next program.
Jenny’s Christmas Challenge
I’ve never had to travel for the holidays before, but since Eric and I moved in September, we’ll be travelling a bit this year. Fortunately, we’re only 45 minutes away from my parents and an hour and fifteen minutes away from his mom, so we don’t have to travel too far. It’s nice having everyone relatively close!
(edited to add: Oops, jumped ahead! That’s what I get for writing posts at 11 pm. I’ll do favourite meal tomorrow).
<— Ever followed a workout program? Was it successful?
<— What’s something you’ve done lately that you’re proud of? Does not have to be fitness related!